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Building bridges

September 3, 2009

As I think just about everyone on the planet (or at least everyone in the Bay Area!) knows, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is closed for the third time this weekend so that Caltrans can perform some amazing engineering feats and get the temporary bridge that will serve the Bay Area for the next four years ready for Tuesday morning’s commute. When the bridge closes for the fourth and final time in 2013, we’ll finally have a new, earthquake-proof bridge. (The Bay Bridge is the last bridge in California to get a seismic retrofit, and far and away the most complicated bridge to retrofit.)

If you haven’t already read about the Bay Bridge retrofit, it’s really a pretty astounding civil engineering process (as, for that matter, was the construction of the original bridge back in the 1930s). Check out the Caltrans Bay Bridge website for more information on the retrofit process, including a timelapse video of the work going on this weekend. You can also see some incredible photos of the construction of the original bridge here.

While we wait for the bridge to reopen, though, I thought it would be a good time to post some shots that D. took the last time the bridge closed in 2007, when he was lucky enough to go on a helicopter photo shoot to document the work.

The west span of the bridge, looking towards San Francisco

The west span of the bridge, looking towards San Francisco

More Port of Oakland

Port of Oakland trucks

Port of Oakland with AT-AT Walker (or not) cranes

Port of Oakland with Star Wars (or not) cranes in the background

Oakland: Looking west to the estuary from above Laney College

Oakland: Looking west to the estuary from above Laney College

The new east span in 2007

The new east span in 2007---today it's close to complete!

Over the mudflats

Over the mudflats

The edge of the MacArthur Maze (with traffic like you've never seen it!)

The edge of the MacArthur Maze (with traffic like you've never seen it!)

San Francisco

San Francisco

Creative Commons License
These photographs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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